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Jointly organized by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Antiquities and Monuments Office, co-organized by the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong, and the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage held from 18 November to 20 November 2003 in the Hong Kong Museum of History was concluded successfully.

The objective of the Workshop was to promote the ratification of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage by Asian-Pacific states as well as bring together the leading authorities on underwater cultural heritage to share their knowledge. The Convention recognizes the importance of the underwater cultural heritage as an integral part of humanity, and is intended to guarantee its preservation through international cooperation.

The Opening Ceremony of the Workshop was officiated by Dr. Patrick Ho Chi-ping, Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr. Zhang Bai, Deputy Director General of State Administration of Cultural Heritage, Mr. Richard Engelhardt, Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific of UNESCO, Mr. Edward Ho Sing-tin, Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Professor David Lung Ping-yee, Chairman of the Council of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, Professor Lee Chak-fan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the University of Hong Kong, and Ms. Anissa Sean-yee Wong, Director of the Leisure and Cultural Services.

Over 100 underwater archeologists, international law personnel and other experts from overseas, Mainland China and Hong Kong participated, and over 20 speakers presented their papers during the Workshop. The expertise of the speakers were dynamic, including international law, law of the sea and underwater archaeology, representing international non-governmental organizations, governments and universities etc. In the concluding session on 20 November 2003, the participants adopted an Action Plan.

After the conclusion of the Workshop, a visit was arranged for the participants to view an exhibition on Trade Ceramics Excavated in Hong Kong at the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong which is jointly presented by the University Museum and Art Gallery and the Antiquities and Monuments Office. Through the exhibition, the participants had a better understanding of the cultural heritage found in Hong Kong

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